U.S. manufacturing, on the whole, is in the midst of a dilemma. Qualified labor is migrating away from industry-based jobs for a number of reasons, the top three of which are Baby Boomer retirements, misperceptions about manufacturing jobs, and a widening skills gap caused by emerging technologies.1 As a result, an estimated 2.4 million positions throughout manufacturing sectors are projected to remain unfilled between 2018 and 2028.1
Tissue machines are a substantial capital investment so it’s understandable that vetting quality, runnability, and productivity is a top pre-purchase priority to ensure maximum return on investment. However, the strict focus also causes a blind spot when it comes to converting.
Tissue converting equipment is a considerable investment. When it comes time for an upgrade or replacement, selling the used machinery is generally a sensible way to monetize remaining value and free up budget space for new capital spend.
As technologies and machinery advance, optimizing production is a critical goal for tissue manufacturers. Measuring success against that goal requires a formulaic approach and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) has emerged as a leading key performance indicator.
Globally, environmental conservation is a top priority. Industry, on the whole, is generally considered a top threat to resources and climate change. Recent statistics bear out the concern. Around 38% of overall global energy consumption and 24% of total CO2 emissions are attributed to industrial production.1 Continued industrial expansion suggests the percentages will continue to rise exponentially, as will energy prices since general worldwide demand for energy is predicted to nearly double by 2035.
Tissue products constantly evolve to meet market demands and consumer preferences. Tissue converters must do likewise to remain relevant to their customers and ahead of the competition. This presents a challenge when it comes to equipment: purchase new or modify existing?
A tissue converting operation doesn’t have to be completely destroyed to be debilitated by fire. Learn more about how new technology and tools can help keep your facility, as well as your workers, and equipment, safe from the threat of fire in this brief video.
At one time or another, tissue converters are faced with purchasing or replacing equipment. It is a substantial investment that warrants careful consideration about how to spend capital. There is always the option to buy new, but at times it is simply a better business decision to acquire pre-owned machines.
With dangerous and disruptive log saw blade changeovers to consider, how do tissue converters keep their workers safe and their lines moving? The solution lies in the Blade Change Technical Improvement Program (TIP) — advanced automation technology that decreases human-machine interaction and significantly increases worker safety. Learn more in this video:
Manual tasks within the unwinding process put many tissue converters at a disadvantage. Operators are responsible for the preparation and transition of parent reels between paper machines and the converting line, which is physically demanding and often time-consuming. Further, these functions increase the likelihood of damage to the tissue and greatly jeopardize operator safety — all substantial risks for tissue converters.
With the advent of Industry 4.0 and smart technologies, solutions to these challenges are now available and Fabio Perini’s new Moonlight unwinder virtually eliminates off-line human intervention during unwinding through forward-thinking automation: